If you are facing a criminal charge in New York, you likely have concerns about the potential punishments you are going to face, and whether you will have to spend time behind bars or pay considerable fines. In addition to any penalties you may receive for a criminal conviction, however, you may also face what are known as collateral consequences.
What are collateral consequences?
Collateral consequences refer to civil penalties you may face in addition to your criminal sentence. They can affect a variety of different areas in your life. Everything, from your ability to secure employment to your ability to reside in a New York Housing Authority property, can be affected, including:
- Preventing you from adopting a child: You may have desires to adopt or foster a child in need, but certain types of felony convictions can keep you from doing so. If you or another adult who lives in your home has a felony conviction for child abuse, spousal abuse, a crime against a child or another type of violent crime, you cannot foster or adopt in New York. If you have a felony drug or assault conviction from the past five years, this, too, will prevent you from fostering or adopting.
- Impacting your immigration status: Receiving a criminal conviction as an immigrant can have serious consequences. Even if your criminal conviction is not a felony, you may face detention or deportation.
- Losing your financial aid: If you receive a drug conviction while receiving federal student loans, grants or work assistance, you can expect to lose your financial aid beginning on the day you are convicted. You will then have to wait before applying for financial aid again. The length of time you must wait will vary based on your criminal history.
The type of collateral consequences you incur will depend on numerous circumstances, including the specifics of your crime. Learn about your options, and fight for your rights before you are convicted.